Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are safe and have traced the source of a leak that resulted in loss of cabin pressure, NASA wrote in a blog post. Three spaceships are docked at the ISS including the Progress 70 resupply ship and the Soyuz MS-08 and MS-09 crew ships.
On Wednesday night, flight controllers detected a tiny leak on one of two Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the complex, as the Expedition 56 crew slept. The leak resulted in a small loss of cabin pressure, Mark Garcia, NASA wrote in the blog post on Thursday. Flight controllers determined there was no immediate danger to the crew overnight.
“Throughout the day, the crew was never in any danger, and was told no further action was contemplated for the remainder of the day. Flight controllers will monitor the pressure trends overnight,” Garcia said. “All station systems are stable and the crew is planning to return to its regular schedule of work on Friday,” he noted.
After a morning of investigations, the crew reported that the leak was isolated to a hole about two millimeters in diameter in the orbital compartment, or upper section, of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the Rassvet module of the Russian segment of the station. Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos used epoxy on a gauze wipe to plug the hole identified as the leak source.
Flight controllers in Moscow performed a partial increase of the station’s atmosphere using the ISS Progress 70 cargo ship’s oxygen supply. Flight controllers in Houston are continuing to monitor station’s cabin pressure in the wake of the repair, the blog post said. Meanwhile, Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency) has convened a commission to conduct further analysis of the possible cause of the leak.